In a letter delivered to Munira last week, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, gave formal notice that the Met Police are planning to close and sell Teddington Police Station.
In response Munira said:
“Now is not the time to fully close Teddington Police Station and sell it to the highest bidder. Once a public building is lost to the community, it is almost impossible to replace. There is real concern from local residents about crime in the Teddington area. A particular focus is needed on Teddington Lock. I recently contacted the Borough Commander to request additional police patrols of the area during peak times. With police numbers finally rising again I urge the Mayor to pause this decision and re-assess the needs of Teddington.”
The announcement of the plan to sell the station comes only three months after a 14-year-old boy was stabbed at Teddington Lock, less than a mile from the police station. The teenager was wounded during a robbery following reports of a large fight.
There is ongoing concern about large groups of young adults gathering at Teddington Lock during spells of good weather. There have been many reports of people jumping off the bridge, swimming close to boats and the weir, and climbing the barriers to gain access to the island. Requests have been made for additional police patrols.
The most recent figures for recorded crime in Teddington show 70 incidents during July this year, with theft and violence against the person being the most common crimes.
Against this backdrop of local concern, the Government and the Mayor have cut funding and reduced police numbers. Officer numbers fell for the first three years of Sadiq Khan’s tenure as mayor, reaching a low point in 2018. The original plan to close the police counter at Teddington station was taken during these years of falling numbers.
Munira noted that:
“Officer numbers are now rising again, and Teddington Police Station could be used as a base to increase police numbers on the streets of Teddington. The sale of the site is a money grab by the Mayor and the needs of Teddington residents should be put first”